PRESS RELEASE

Contact: Teri Stoddard
Telephone: 301-801-0608
Email: tstoddard@saveservices.org

As Victim Credibility Dwindles, SAVE Calls on Prosecutors to File Charges in Brian Banks False Rape Case

WASHINGTON / June 26, 2012 – One month after revelations of Wanetta Gibson’s false rape accusation, Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE) is charging Los Angeles County prosecutors with unacceptable delay in filing perjury charges against Gibson. A vigorous prosecution of Gibson is critical to restoring the credibility of true rape victims, who often complain investigators with growing case loads don’t take their claims seriously, SAVE says.

Rape is No Joke, a victim advocacy group, has charged that “Enormous damages are done by making a false allegation of rape.” New York Post Andrea Peyser columnist laments that false accusations represent a “huge problem for future rape victims.”  And Justice Enriques has decried that “False complaints of rape necessarily impact upon the minds of jurors trying rape cases.”

Wanetta Gibson admitted to the false charge during a taped meeting with a private investigator. “No, he did not rape me,” she was quoted as saying. “I will go through with helping you, but it’s like at the same time all that money they gave us, I mean gave me, I don’t want to have to pay it back.”

Gibson and her mother had been paid $1.5 million by the Long Beach School District following their lawsuit for allegedly failing to provide adequate protections to prevent the assault.

Despite the judge’s decision, Los Angeles County prosecutor Brentford Ferreira said there were no plans to charge Gibson, saying it would be a difficult case to prove.

“Here we have a star athlete nearly broken by a false accusation, a $1.5 million pay-out, and a woman who admitted to wrong-doing,” notes SAVE spokesman Philip Cook. “Prosecutor Ferreira’s comment represents a slap in the face to real victims whose credibility is under assault.”

The rape conviction was overturned by a Long Beach, Calif. Judge on May 24. Minutes later a tearful Banks told media representatives, “There’s more than I can describe, the things I’ve been through and the things that I’ve endured.”

June is False Allegations Awareness Month. One in 10 persons has been falsely accused of sexual assault, domestic violence, or child abuse: http://www.saveservices.org/falsely-accused/survey/

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments is a victim-advocacy organization working for evidence-based solutions to partner abuse: www.saveservices.org